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Aug 26, 2008 11:38 AM

where to find fresh shell beans in SF?

I just discovered these delectable morsels two days ago in my Mariquita Farms box, and now I am on a mission to gobble more up while the gobbling's good. So my two questions are:

What's the seasonal availability of said beans?
And where (farmers' markets and/or in stores) can I find them?

Thanks in advance for any help!

p.s. I'm new here and did try to search the boards to see if anyone's already asked this, but if I missed it, please redirect me to the right thread. :)

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  1. What is a shell bean to you?

    I saw Favas at Lunardis (San Jose) Monday (8/25).

    The SJ Flea Market had soy beans/edamame on 8/20.

    Note: I realize you are asking about SF, my sitings are to let you know what is currently available.

    Last September I was at the Ferry Building Farmer's Market and remember seeing cranberrys.

    I find it easier to google the question vs using Chowhound's Search.

    1. My favorite grower is Annabelle Lenderink aka La Tercera, she's at the Berkeley market on Saturdays, don't know where else. They just came in season and are around for two or three months. Previous discussion:

      1 Reply
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Thank you, Alan and Robert! I'll check out that other thread.

        The shell beans I had were cranberry beans. I'm looking to try any and all varieties.

      2. Cranberry shellies were at Ferry Plaza farmer's market the last couple of Saturdays and will probably continue. Season is a bit late this year.

        1. I haven't been to the Ferry Plaza market in a couple of weeks, but if you go on Saturdays make sure to try the Dirty Girl booth. They usually have beautiful shelling beans.

          I think I saw black eyed peas this week at the Berkeley market.

          This is a good time of year to be looking for shelling beans.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Fig Newton

            I saw two kinds of shelling beans at Dirty Girl's Berkeley stand today. Also the best Romanos around. Several vendors had black-eyed peas.

              1. re: wally

                Yes, next to the cranberry and cannellini beans.

          2. There's at least one stall at the Tuesday Ferry Building that sells them...they look wonderful, and I'm often tempted, but they completely fail my lazy/thrifty scale (like the Vicky Mendonza diagonal from How I Met Your Mother, but I digress.) I'll pay a little more for convenience and ease, or put a little more effort into something that was a great deal. But the last time I bought fava beans, I spent about $8-9 on a lb, and ended up with a scant cup of edible beans, after the super fun double shelling process. Fail!

            11 Replies
            1. re: bex109

              It's funny, I actually *like* the task of shelling the beans! It reminds me of helping my mom with menial prep work when I was a kid, like snapping the ends off of a huge bowl of bean sprouts or filling and folding dumplings. Plus, each pod is like a small present that I get to open up and see what's inside. Simple things.... as long as I'm not pressed for time, that is. :)

              1. re: bex109

                $8 - $9, really? They were $4/lb when they were in season in May.

                I'm pretty sure the stand you are referring to is Iacopi and I'm not up on their prices.

                1. re: bex109

                  Wait til next year. Early fava's at Monterey Market were huge and under $2 a pound. Still only a small yield after double shelling.

                  1. re: bex109

                    I think favas were less than half that the Berkeley market this year. There is a lot of waste. Garbanzos are even more of a pain to shell.

                    Dirty Girl's cannellini and cranberry beans are $5 a pound, and the pods are very light compared with favas.

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      Fava's 89 cents at Berkeley Bowl this afternoon. They look nowhere near as large and fresh as did the early ones this season.

                      1. re: wolfe

                        August is very late for favas.

                        I don't think they're ever over $1 a pound at BB or Monterey Market.

                      2. re: Robert Lauriston

                        What kind of garbanzos do you buy that are harder to shell than favas?? The ones I get are so easy to shell, we sit on the couch and eat them like popcorn!

                        1. re: chemchef

                          Very fresh green ones. Can't remember which market stand.

                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                            Those are what I'm talking about, Robert.

                            1. re: chemchef

                              The ones I got were really hard to open. I talked with someone at the market who had a similar experience. And on average there was only one bean per pod.